Win an Emma-Jane nursing vest – And let’s talk breastfeeding …

The first time I breastfed Talitha in public she was days old. We were at Cribbs Causeway, a large shopping centre in Bristol. Somehow Talitha and I had got separated from both Laurence and my parents. I was on my own in Boots when she started crying in her pram. I felt as helpless as she seemed. I awkwardly manoeuvred my way out of the store. Flustered, I didn’t think to find a feeding room. I just found a bench. Careful that no one saw anything I breastfed her. Two elderly women came up to me to see the baby.…

When all your friends have stopped breastfeeding…

It started happening around six months, the weaning from the breast. It started with comments like: “I don’t know how you can keep doing that” and “Haven’t you had enough?” There were phrases that practically echoed formula ads and that skewed NHS guidelines. I suppose it started earlier. In the past year only 47.2 per cent of women were found still breastfeeding when their babies were six to eight weeks old. And yes there may be a cultural aversion to breastfeeding, depending on where they live, but I’m sure many of those women would have liked to have continued. In…

Top tip for breastfeeding mothers: Relax and Accept

I had a love-hate relationship with the phrase “This too shall pass” when I was doing the new baby thing with Talitha. Sometimes it was my mantra. I would declare it and draw great strength from it. We would live to see another day. She would not be thirteen and waking me up hourly (or, I really hope she won’t be!). All these biologically normal newborn things that did not fit with my industrialised, isolated lifestyle would settle down, would be survived. Other times, a more experienced mother would tell me that her crap naps, insane feeding, constant night waking,…

The breastfeeding conference – ABM Conference 2013

I went to a breastfeeding conference on Saturday. It was absolutely the last thing I felt like after a week of moving house and just before second birthday celebrations but oh how I’m glad I went. I’ve come away re-inspired and challenged. It’s made me love women more. Actually it’s made me love men and children too. Perhaps I’m still awash in all that oxytocin from the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) Conference. Baby led feeding First, we got to hear from Gill Rapley, the Baby Led Weaning champion. My two-year-old-on-Tuesday is far beyond the stage where purees would make…

Ways my toddler shows she loves “mummy milk”

While I was breastfeeding 22-month-old Talitha to sleep last night, she lifted my other breast and offered it to me. Without unlatching, her expressive brows said: “Mummy, you have some.” Of course, I was – shall we say – less than keen. I explained to her that this was something she didn’t have to share. She has a real thing at the moment about making sure “Talitha has one and mummy has one” of anything she’s enjoying. So, while it was killing that she wanted me to have a suckle of my own nipple, I realised that it meant she…

Making my peace with formula

I cleared the last couple of baby bottles out of my kitchen cupboard today. My supplemental nursing system (SNS) went to the breastfeeding group some weeks ago as a demo aid for mothers struggling with milk production. These pieces of kit powerfully remind me that I cannot claim to have exclusively breastfed my daughter. Big deal, you might say, especially since I’m still breastfeeding her now at 22 months. How dare I feel any regret when so many don’t manage to breastfeed at all? Well, OK. I’m being real here. There’s nothing wrong with what I feel. Every time I…

Moments when you’re thankful to be breastfeeding your toddler

It’s past the six-month, twelve-month, eighteen-month, two-year or whatever mark people around you thought you’d stop at. You’re still breastfeeding your toddler and they can’t understand why. Maybe it’s because they’re not the ones there to enjoy these moments. You’re thankful to still be breastfeeding your toddler when: Your toddler’s sick and can’t keep anything else down We’ve been through this a couple of times and each time I’ve been so grateful that I can give Talitha the most easily digested food, human milk. One of her bugs didn’t allow her to keep even that down, though. Still, it was…